Wilma F. Griggsby, 81, of Hannibal, went home to be with the Lord on Friday morning, March 23, 2018, just four days shy of celebrating her 82nd birthday.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 31, 2018 at Willow Street Christian Church in Hannibal. Rev. Minnie Smith will officiate. Burial will be at Grand View Burial Park in Hannibal.
Friends and family are invited to Wilma's Life Celebration at a visitation that will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of services Saturday at Willow Street Christian Church.
The family is being served by the James O'Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal.
The daughter of the late Pearl Hawkins and Mary Frances Biggs, she was born on March 27, 1936, in Vandalia. She attended and was a graduate of the then-segregated Mexico Missouri Public School System, where she made the 50-plus-mile round trip by bus each day to receive her education.
On Jan. 13, 1957, she married Major A. Griggsby Jr., in Hannibal. This six-decade union produced six children.
Survivors include her stepfather, Dolly Leo Salmon of Vandalia; her husband, Major; six children, Tenya Griggsby of Crowley, Texas, Demetrius Griggsby of Overland Park, Kan., Paul Griggsby of Denver, Colo., Monique Horton (Christopher) of Irving, Texas, Nicolette Griggsby of Aurora, Colo., and Maquestia Griggsby of Overland Park, Kan.; four grandchildren, Tommy Swanson Jr. (Maria) of Lewisville, Texas, Lauren Griggsby of Raytown, Arionn Hobbs of Aurora, Colo. and Sebastian Starnes of Overland Park, Kan.; one great-grandchild, Adam Dufrene of Raytown; three step-grandchildren, Christopher Horton, Jr. of Dallas, Texas, Mya Horton of Dallas, Texas and Mia Horton of Detroit, Mich.; two step-great-grandchildren, Elijah Penington and Emyah Grace Penington of Dallas, Texas; one brother, William Hawkins of Denver, Colo.; one brother-in-law, William Griggsby of Pikesville; and one sister-in-law, Mary Jo Hawkins of Moberly. Also surviving Wilma are a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Darrell Hawkins, Gerald Hawkins, her twin brother, Velma Vern Hawkins, and one sister, Joanne Driver.
She had a love for children and a passion for the medical field, but deferred her dream of becoming a nurse to support the goals of her children; stressing the need for education to all of them, but emphasizing that women achieve independence and strive for self-sufficiency.
For many years, she worked as a nurse's aide at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in the maternity ward and later established her own childcare business.
Spending her final year as a resident at Luther Manor Care Facility, she became somewhat of a celebrity because of her impeccable fashion sense — especially her love of hats and turbans. Her fashion acumen was not only exhibited in her choice of wardrobe, but also in how she decorated her home. This gift was one of many she passed on to her children, along with compassion, empathy, sacrifice, being a wonderful mother and trusting in God's unwavering word.
Memorial contributions may be made to Willow Street Christian Church for the After School Mentoring Program.
Pallbearers will be Christopher Horton, Geno King, Michael McPike, Marcus Smith, Tommy Swanson Jr. and Ron Williams.
Honorary pallbearers will be Robert Boone, Joe Miller and Phillip Smith.
Online condolences may be made and video tribute may be viewed at www.jamesodonnellfuneralhome.com .